Thursday, November 13, 2008

dirty little secret

I guess I've had posting block this week. I had not realized how long it had been. We've been excitedly thinking about Wayne's sister, Rachel, and husband Hollins's upcoming visit.

We've also been doing some focusing on Tyler's bedtime routine. OK, me mostly.

Both Tyler and I have long been in the habit of me laying down with him to put him to sleep... and I often stayed there for the night. I could attribute this on all kinds of things- the discovery of my ability to nurse laying down and therefore sleep through middle of the night feedings, Tyler's difficulty in sleeping as a baby, Wayne sleeping in with Tyler so he's not sleepy as early as I am, my body's need for zzzz's immediately, you get the drift. I can't say that I mind sleeping with him, except that many nights we play musical beds. (Wayne and I). I'm admitting this, recognizing that many of you out there probably think this is pathetic. I try not to tell too many people - I get the raised eyebrows, silence, the knowing looks... and, though I may be misinterpreting, I often get this feeling they think I'm less of a mother for doing so. In fact, why am I admitting this? :)

Within the last month, I decided that maybe it was time for Tyler to have a twin-sized bed. I figure, even if I can't wean myself of laying down with him, at least I won't be comfortable enough to stay there for the night. Last weekend, Nathan (a coworker) came to pick up Tyler's mattress. Tyler appeared fine, knowing that Nathan needed a new mattress. In the meantime, Tyler's been on the air mattress.

Last night, I moved it from the side of our bed, back to his room. I decided maybe I'd try out the idea of him going to sleep without laying next to me with the lure of earning a small reward for doing so. When it was bedtime, I laid down next to him without thinking about it. But, he kicked me out -
"Mommy, I want to sleep by myself!"

Oh yes, good, so I sat in the rocking chair. He laid there quietly, then cried out,

"I want my old bed, Mommy! Why did Nathan have to take both parts [box springs and mattress] of my bed?!" I started to remind him about why Nathan needed a bed, and he responded, "Oh yeah, because the spring was poking him!"

It didn't take long, and he was asleep. Whew. Much easier than when I tried this a few months ago when he just cried and pleaded with me to sleep with him.

Today, I kept my promise, and he was quite excited to pick something out (sour gummy worms tonight). He was so excited after perusing his future options that early in the evening, he declared,

"I want to go to bed now, Mommy!"
"If I win the race upstairs, that means I get to go to sleep by myself!"

Alright, I think we're onto something. Today reminded me of weaning from nursing and potty training... when we're both ready, it is easier than I expected. I'm not sure I was ready to give up laying down with him before either. I must admit, I fell asleep more easily when I was snuggled next to him. sigh.

Today, I bought him some dinosaur sheets and we ordered a bed...we're on our way.


Carrie said...

I'm glad it has gone so smoothly for you, Melody. I can't remember - did I send you what I wrote about when I transitioned Gabe to me not laying down with him the other month? Let's just say it wasn't nearly so smooth. :) :)

If anybody thinks you are less of a mother for the choices you make, give me their address and I'll go kick 'em. You are a GREAT mom who loves her son very much and does everything she can do to be a good mommy - and what else can you do? Nothing. Anyways - I'm pretty sure you get more good mommy points than me - I feel bad for Gabe sometimes when I see that Tyler is doing cool things like swimming lessons or having really fun looking parties - and I feel like I'm just too tired/busy with the baby still in this early stage of Zion's life to re-incorporate a lot of fun stuff back in. Although some moms do all that and then some. I usually tell myself that I can do what I can do and that is all I can do. And I just can pray about the rest. :)

I wish we lived closer and Gabe and Tyler could have fun sleepovers on the cool dinosaur sheets (pretty sure Gabe would think he needed some dinosaur sheets too if he saw Tyler's :)).

Tell Tyler I said "Way to go, Tyler!!!"

Kathy Beachy said...

Probably if I would have only had one child, I would have done the same. It's a whole different ball game when the 2nd one comes along. We all know you are a good mom.
Everybody parents differently.

Melody Stuckey said...

Kathy, it was so ironic that you had just blogged about having to get Matt to sleep on his own - that story broke my heart. I could tell how hard that was for you. And you're right, with two I wouldn't have much of a choice. In fact, the choice to have him learn to sleep on his own earlier would have been more of a necessity than it has been since he's the only.

I haven't gotten the feeling from family that I'm a bad mom or anything. It's probably more my own conflicted feelings about it all - my fear that he'd never learn to fall asleep on his own, people at work in shock that a 3rd grader still sleeps with his mom, etc. You know, it got in my head some days. Other days, I could have cared less what anyone else thought. And, when I was discussing it last night with a friend, he said that in our circle, pretty much everyone is laying down with their kids to put them to sleep. (Many of them, I was not aware were doing that).

Carrie - Yes I did read about how you got Gabe to sleep on his own...I guess that sometimes it seems easier to read about it than it probably was to do. And, I have tried to get him to sleep without me before, and it didn't go smoothly at all - he cried and cried. For some reason, the last two nights were just so easy. I hope I haven't jinxed it by writing about it.

I agree - we all do what we can do. I'm pretty sure I'd be totally overwhelmed if I had three children. And, lest you think that I'm constantly doing enriching, fun, wonderful things for Tyler - I wish I could say that's true, but, well, there are other things to get done...and nights mommy just wants to rest. I wish you guys lived closer too. I'm sure the boys would love to have sleepovers!! :)

I told Tyler "way to go" and he had to come over and look at the words himself, and had me repeat them several times. :)

We miss you all!

Kris said...

I love your honesty in this post, Mel. You are a terrific mom from everything I can tell. How many of us have struggled with this very issue or another one just like it?! Oh, it will be so much easier when Tyler is all ready for it himself. I agree that that is how it's gone with both nursing and potty training for my kids. I'm still waiting for Andrew to be ready for the potty completely... but I'm trying to have faith that it will be less of a struggle when he's ready to do it and it's not just my agenda.

And yeah for the baby steps, Tyler!! You can do it, buddy. :)

Melody Stuckey said...

Thank you, Kris! :)